Spring 2016 CACREP Connection


Council for Accreditation and Counseling

orange checkmarkChair’s Report

Dear Colleagues,

There is a Buddhist saying that goes something like this: “If you walk, just walk. If you sit, just sit; but whatever you do, don’t wobble.” For me, this saying speaks to the importance of commitment, intention, and focus. If you’re going to do something, do it! No half measures, no having it both ways. Fully commit. I think this principle has a lot of applications in our lives, and certainly speaks to the on-going progress we see in establishing clear educational standards for the counseling profession. Some examples include:

  • the merger agreement between CORE and CACREP, solidifying a singular accrediting body for the counseling profession
  • American Counseling Association’s (ACA) support for CACREP/CORE accreditation as part of counselor licensure
  • American Association of State Licensure Board’s (AASCB) support for CACREP standards and processes

In addition to the tremendous support we’ve seen for clear educational standards for the counseling profession, we’ve seen increased collaboration and support between counseling’s professional organizations. A few examples include:

  • A leadership meeting between ACA, NBCC, and CACREP at the ACES conference in Philadelphia to coordinate advocacy efforts for the profession
  • Collaboration between ACA and CACREP on the needs of counseling programs at HBCUs
  • CACREP’s support for the AMHCA-ACES-NBCC Portability Standards for Counselors (In order for CACREP to support the AMHCA-ACES-NBCC plan, CACREP retired the CACREP Position Statement on Licensure Portability for Professional Counselors).
  • A revision to a CACREP guiding statement requiring that “counseling programs must provide the knowledge and skills that enable students to fully comply with the ACA Code of Ethics” and that students abide by the ACA Code of Ethics while enrolled in CACREP accredited programs.
  • A revision to a CACREP Glossary defining professional counseling organizations as the “American Counseling Association (ACA) and divisions, and/or branches and other major counseling organizations such as Chi Sigma Iota (CSI) and the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).”

All of this progress is the product of a great deal of hard work on the part of so many individuals in so many organizations! I’m particularly grateful to ACA President Thelma Duffey, ACA CEO Richard Yep, NBCC Board Chair Kylie P. Dotson-Blake, NBCC CEO Tom Clawson, and CACREP CEO Carol Bobby for their dedication and tireless efforts on behalf of counselors everywhere!

As we continue the “walk” toward greater uniformity in training standards for counselors and greater collaboration and support between professional organizations I am increasingly optimistic about the future for counselors, their clients, and our profession as a whole. We’re likely to see some “wobbling” here and there on our journey, but if we stay the course and maintain a clear vision of who we are and what we have to offer as counselors, every step will be worth the effort.

Best Regards,


Spring 2016


Chair’s Report

Accreditation Decisions

Message from ACA President

Policy Updates

Board Member Changes


The CACREP Board met in January in Alexandria, VA, to make accreditation decisions.


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Accreditation Decisions

The CACREP Board met in January in Alexandria, VA, to make accreditation decisions.


Message from ACA President

Greetings from the American Counseling Association!

I appreciate the opportunity to update you on some of the developments within ACA as related to CACREP accreditation, and to share some of my hopes for the profession of counseling and ACA’s relationship with CACREP.

Three weeks into my presidency, the ACA Governing Council voted to endorse CACREP as the accrediting body for professional counselors in a historic move at its July 2015 meeting. In addition, the Governing Council voted to provide the same strong level of advocacy for all currently licensed counselors and those licensed by July 2020. These decisions have an immense impact on the lives of current and future professional counselors, and they were not made in haste. In fact, accreditation has been the focus of many thoughtful discussions over the years among those sitting at the Governing Council table and in other leadership settings. This year, Governing Council members voted to advance the good work of 20/20: A Vision for the Future of Counseling and we did so by focusing on the importance of accreditation.

While these developments mark a time of celebration for many counselors and emerging professionals who look to standardization as a pathway to opportunity, portability, and parity, we also understand they bring a period of unrest for programs currently not accredited by CACREP. Supporting programs during this time is important for ACA, as a membership organization representing the needs of its 56,000 members. Every day of every year, ACA works tirelessly to represent our members in advocacy and professional development. And this year I have the privilege of leading this effort.

Following the Governing Council decision, ACA partnered with CACREP to explore new ways of supporting our members and the counseling programs who seek CACREP accreditation. Jeff Parsons, CACREP Chair, and I have shared many talks related to using creativity, technology, and other means to support these programs. We have covered a lot of ground in these conversations, and generated some potentially powerful ideas. The next step, of course, is to take our vision to a place of action! There is so much to do and good partnerships can make great things happen. I am grateful to serve as ACA president during such a historic year, and I remain hopeful that with continued conversations, broadened perspectives, and a focus on creating a win-win for our profession and our members, the good work of this year will bear fruit. I remain hopeful that through this all, we can continue to come together and create opportunities that move us all forward.



State Licensure Policy

Programs have an obligation to inform current and/or potential students whether the specific specialty area(s) qualify for state licensure and/or certification in the state(s) where their courses are offered. This obligation includes referring students to appropriate websites, documents, or courses for information about qualifying for credentials in states outside of where their courses are offered.

Policy Regarding Meeting New Standards

Programs that are currently accredited under the 2001, 2009, or 2016 Standards must comply with 2016 Standard 1.J by July 2, 2020. The move to 60 credit hours applies to students entering programs after July 2020.

Policy on Counseling Program Identity

Programs applying for CACREP accreditation must be clearly identifiable as counseling programs. Programs should demonstrate compliance to a counseling identity in the following areas at the time of application for accreditation:

  1. Core Curriculum (course prefixes, course titles, course content) – Standards 2.F.1-8
  2. Specialty Area (e.g., SC, CMHC) descriptions and general content
  3. Descriptions of program and its specialty area(s) in program materials (e.g., website, student handbooks, catalogs)
  4. Core faculty identification with the counseling profession – Standard 1.X
  5. Student identification with the counseling profession – Standard 2.C
  6. Faculty supervisor qualifications – Standard 3.N


A document has been developed that clarifies and 2016 CACREP Standards that relate to core faculty issues and provides examples to help programs determine faculty status. View document >>


Glossary Definition Change

Professional Counseling Organizations: Organizations (i.e., ACA and its divisions and/or branches, Chi Sigma Iota, and NBC) whose primary mission is to advocate for and to provide development, support, and/or recognition for professional counselors across the counselor education specialties


Guiding Statement on CACREP 2016 Standard 1.O

Standard 1.O states the following:

Counselor education programs have and follow a policy for student retention, remediation, and dismissal from the program consistent with institutional due process policies and with the counseling profession’s ethical codes and standards of practice.

Standard 1.O applies to students enrolled in the counseling program. The intent of Standard I.O is that programs adopt and adhere to the current American Counseling Association’s (ACA) and/or its divisions’ codes of ethics. The counseling program must provide the knowledge and skills that enable students to fully comply with the ACA Code of Ethics.

If a student engages in behavior(s) that violate these ethical codes while in the program, the programs is expected to follow its due process policies in determining the basis for remediation and/or dismissal from the program.

Guiding Statement for 2016 Standard 2.F.5.m

CACREP Standard 2.F.5.m states the following:

F. The eight common core areas represent the foundational knowledge required of all entry-level counselor education graduates. Therefore, counselor education programs must document where each of the lettered standards listed below is covered in the curriculum.


m. crisis intervention, trauma-informed, and community-based strategies, such as Psychological First Aid

Standard 2 F.5 is embedded within one of CACREP’s required eight core curricular areas – Counseling and Helping Relationships. To document this specific requirement within Standard 2F programs must show how every student has an opportunity to gain knowledge and/or skills in crisis intervention, trauma-informed, and community-based strategies. While the standard provides Psychological First Aid as an example of one approach for working with children, adolescents, adults and families in the aftermath of disasters and other forms of trauma, CACREP recognizes other well developed programs exist such as those offered through the NBCC’s Mental Health Facilitator training or the American Red Cross’s Disaster Mental Health training.

Guiding Statement on 2016 Standard 1.X

Standard 1.X states the following:

Core counselor education program faculty identify with the counseling profession (1) through sustained memberships in professional counseling organizations, (2) through the maintenance of certifications and/or licenses related to their counseling specialty area(s), and (3) by showing evidence of sustained (a) professional development and renewal activities related to counseling, (b) professional service and advocacy in counseling, and (c) research and scholarly activity in counseling commensurate with their faculty role.

Standard 1.X requires the program’s core faculty to demonstrate sustained engagement in activities of the counseling profession and its professional organizations. Maintaining memberships, holding credentials, and engaging in service activities with organizations such as the American Counseling Association and/or its divisions, Chi Sigma Iota (both at the chapter level and national level), and the National Board for Certified Counselors and Affiliates are considered clear indicators of professional counselor identity and can be used to demonstrate involvement in the counseling profession and its professional organizations. Each of these organizations provides unique opportunities for development/renewal, research, scholarship, service and advocacy that can be used to document how program faculty members meet this standard. CACREP acknowledges that this list of organizations is not exhaustive; however, these organizations are cited as clear examples of CACREP’s expectations for involvement with the counseling profession.


At the Board meeting in January, we said goodbye to three members: Dana Heller Levitt, Kok-Mun Ng, and Tiffany Hill.

At the same meeting, three new members were elected to the board and will begin their terms on July 1, 2016. Robin Lee joins us as a counselor educator from Middle Tennessee State University. Charles “Rip” McAdams, another new counselor educator on the Board, teaches at the College of William and Mary. Margaret Denton will be a new public member. She is Chief Counsel for the College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University

Additionally, elections of Officers were held at the January meeting. Next year’s Executive Committee will be Jeff Parsons, Chair; Kelly Coker, Vice-Chair; and Kenyon Knapp, Treasurer.